Register to vote

You must be registered in order to vote. You are not automatically registered, even if you pay Council Tax.​​​​​​
Man walking past a polling station

How to register to vote

Mayoral and local elections, May 2018

If you were registered to vote in last year's general election, and your details haven't changed, you don't need to register again. However, if you've moved into Newham since the last election or moved within the borough, and haven't registered to vote at your new address, you'll need to do so.

It takes just five minutes to apply to register to vote at
You must apply to register by midnight on Tuesday 17 April. The council cannot by law accept any late applications or correct your details after 17 April.
In most cases, the council will put you straight onto the electoral register. If there are any problems - for example, if the address on your application does not match the records held by the Department for Work and Pensions - we will ask you to submit documentary evidence to validate your details. You must reply to any queries no later than Wednesday 25 April, otherwise you will not be registered to vote.​

The annual canvass

During August we send a household enquiry form (HEF) to every household in Newham to find out if the information on the electoral register is up to date.
The form has the Government's 'Your vote matters, don't lose it' logo printed on the envelope.
It is a chance for you tell us if:

  • someone has moved out
  • someone has moved in
  • someone's details have changed
  • no one at the property is eligible to register
  • the property is empty.

You must respond to the form, even if all the details for your household are correct. The form will tell you how to do this. It will also include a security code in case you decide to respond online, by text or by phone.

If your name is not on the form, you can use the Government's register to vote service, however you must also complete the household enquiry form. If you don't, we will send you reminders until you fill it in.

Register to vote (or update your details)

You can use the Government's register to vote service to:
  • get on the electoral register
  • change your details (your name or address)
Make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand.


​Why you should register to vote

  • The electoral register is used by credit reference agencies to check your name and address if you are applying for credit.
  • If your name is not on the register, you may not be able to get credit, a mortgage or a mobile phone contract.
  • Schools may use the electoral register to check that you live within the their catchment area.
  • We may check the register when you request a resident’s parking permit.
  • It is a criminal offence to refuse to complete the registration form or to give false information, carrying a fine of up to £1,000.

Who can register to vote

You can register to vote if you are 16 years of age and over, resident in the UK and you are:
  • a UK citizen
  • a qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • a citizen of the Irish Republic
  • a citizen of the European Union (EU)
  • not legally excluded from voting.

European Union (EU) citizens

If you are a citizen of an EU country other than the Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus you are not entitled to vote in UK parliamentary elections, but you are eligible to vote in European parliamentary, local council and mayoral, London Assembly and London mayoral elections. 

Expatriate UK citizens

If you are living outside the UK, you may register to vote in UK and European parliamentary elections for up to 15 years since you were last registered on the electoral register at a UK address or as a service elector.

The electoral register

The electoral register is a list of everyone who is entitled to vote. We make and keep two versions of the borough’s register of electors – a full version and an edited version.

Full register

The full version of the electoral register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. By law, it can only be used for electoral purposes, prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you apply for credit. It is a criminal offence to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose.

Edited or open register

The edited version of the register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked to be excluded from it. It is available for sale and can be used by anyone for any purpose. For example, direct mailing companies may use it to send you information about goods and services.

Removing your details from the public register

You can choose not to have your details on the open register. You should mark your preference when you apply to register to vote.

When we update the electoral register

Between January and September we update the electoral register with any changes on the first working day of the month. This allows you to tell us that your details have changed throughout the year.

Between September and December we close the register while we hold our annual review. We publish the revised electoral register on 1 December.

Inspecting the electoral register

You can inspect the full version of the register at Stratford library Stores and Archives. To book a one-hour appointment, telephone 020 3373 6881.

You may take handwritten notes but you are not allowed to photocopy pages of the register.

Petitions for a referendum

You can petition us if you would like us to hold a referendum on changing the way Newham is governed (from a directly elected Mayor to a committee system).

Your petition must be signed by at least 5 per cent of those registered to vote in local government elections in the borough. This means that petitions presented between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 will need to have a minimum of 10,145 signatures.

We review the number of signatures needed on 15 February each year in line with the number of people in the electoral register (to make sure that it corresponds with 5 per cent of local government electors).

If the number of signatures needed on 15 February 2019 is less than 10,145, the lower number will come into effect as soon as we publish it rather than waiting until 31st March 2019.
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Contact us

  • Electoral Services
    Room 38
    Newham Town Hall
    Barking Road
    E6 2RP

    020 8430 2000

    Email us